THE ART OF DISAPPEARING – A READING OF A NEW PLAY IN CHICAGO
I’m one happy playwright. Tomorrow is the Chicago Dramatists reading of my full-length play, THE ART OF DISAPPEARING.
I began writing this play just over 9 years ago. 9 years! And tomorrow it is getting a wonderful reading by an extraordinary cast of actors at the place where I took my first playwriting class taught by Lisa Dillman.
This play has had readings and was a finalist for the 2008 Princess Grace Award for Playwriting. But I have never felt as confident about it as I do today. I’ve put so much into it and had so many supportive voices along the way.
From my playwriting class with David Scott Milton in grad school at USC (where I began writing it) to Lee Wochner’s Workshop in Silver Lake where I began to rewrite it, and the wonderful organizations (Moving Arts, The Blank, Alliance of Los Angeles Playwrights) actors and directors who have given their time to it along the way.
Tomorrow’s reading is being directed by Ann Filmer. I’m loving working with her on the play. We are having such fun… which is saying something considering the heavy subject matter.
This cast is so good that in rehearsal the other night, one of the actors exclaimed, “When do we mount this?!”
I responded, “That’s what I want to know.”
I truly believe that this play is ready for a production. And I’d be one happy and lucky playwright if it were with this director and this cast.
I’m so grateful to Chicago Dramatists – specifically David Barr and Russ Tutterow – for inviting me into this process. It’s restored my faith in this work. And I needed that. Because let’s face it, after nine years of writing and rewriting and sending it out and getting rejected… well, that faith can be shaken.
But today, I’m 100% behind this play. For better or worse. And I’m visualizing its opening night. Hopefully here in Chicago. Because this is where the play is set.
Tomorrow is the reading. Where I get to hear what works, what doesn’t, where it drags, where it soars, where it confuses, where it intrigues, where it alienates and where it lands.
It’s always a nerve wrecking experience. But this time I have NINE years of work behind me. I’m ready. And I’m supported by a brilliant director and cast.
Me = Happy playwright
If you’re interested in attending the reading… here is the info:
“The Art of Disappearing”
by Stephanie Alison Walker
directed by Ann Filmer.
Thomas Edson McElroy
When Melissa receives a mysterious invitation to brunch from her mother after a two-year estrangement, she returns to a home where nothing is as it seems. The devastating truth she discovers in her parents’ house threatens to tear all of them apart for good.
Come on out, have a listen, stay for the talk back and talk back.
Saturday, March 24
Chicago Dramatists (at Chicago and Ogden)